Khel Ratna Award renamed after Dhyan Chand

New Delhi, Aug 06 (PTI): India’s highest sporting honour Khel Ratna Award, which was named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, was on Friday rechristened in the honour of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand following the admirable performance of both men’s and women’s hockey teams in the Tokyo Olympics.
Making the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. “Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award! Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honour and pride for India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honour will be named after him,” he tweeted.
The exceptional performance of the men’s and women’s Hockey Team has captured the imagination of our entire nation, the prime minister said, adding that there is a renewed interest towards the sport that is emerging across the length and breadth of India.
This is a very positive sign for the coming times, he said.
The prestigious award carries a prize money of Rs 25 lakh.

Congress accuses PM of playing ‘myopic politics’

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday welcomed the renaming of India’s highest sporting honour Khel Ratna Award in the name of hockey legend Dhyan Chand but accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of playing “myopic politics” in the name of sportspersons. It also hoped that the prime minister would rechristen stadiums which are in his and former Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s names after legendary sportspersons such as Milkha Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and P T Usha. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the prime minister of trying to be “myopic” and after reducing the sports budget by Rs 230 crore in an Olympic year was trying to deflect the attention from fundamental issues of farmers, Pegasus and inflation. “The Congress welcomes that the Khel Ratna Award has been named after the most celebrated sportsperson and hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. We sincerely hope Modi ji should not have used his myopic political motives to drag the name of a celebrated player like Major Dhyan Chand,” he told reporters.
Surjewala said Rajiv Gandhi is not known for any awards, but for his sacrifice and ideas, for his commitment to India and for the manner in which he transformed the country into the 21st century.

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